5Q Friday profiles women who took a leap of faith career wise to start their own business and create the life they wanted. This week profile is Alina Munoz, the partner of a previous 5Q Friday “featurette,” Stephanie Berghoff. I thought it would be fun to get both sides of their launch and hear a bit about partnership.
1.) Who are you?
My name is Alina Munoz. I’m 29 years old. I’m the Co-Founder of Culintro. I was born and raised in Texas, but feel most at home in New York City.
2.) What’s your business?
Culintro is a culinary organization built upon the mission to unite, network, and educate professionals that work within the restaurant industry. We offer a variety of popular resources including the fastest-growing Job Board in the country. Also, important to Culintro are the events that we host, either panel events or networking parties. For instance, we’re hosting a Late Night party with Tom Colicchio in April for over 200 cooks in the city. It’s exciting to see how these types of events have grown into the ultimate insider’s access to the culinary world.
3.) When did you decide to take the plunge and “create the life you want”?
I was working at Gourmet magazine for several years as an Advertising Sales Manager. I truly loved the magazine, the editorial content and the people who created it. While I respected the process of selling ads, I didn’t want to make it into a career, unless I was selling my own product and ideas. I also couldn’t imagine working in any other industry except a culinary one. When I met Stephanie, my business partner, we shared similar ideas to unify the community and create a gateway for emerging and established professionals to enter and advance within their fields. We created a business plan before work and after work (which took about a year to complete), then received an investment from family and friends to launch. It’s hard to believe that was over 3 years ago.
Today, we have over 15,000 restaurant professionals as members of Culintro. We are hosting events with some of the top names in the industry like Daniel Boulud, Michael White, and Tom Colicchio. We recently expanded to San Francisco, which is an incredible restaurant community. They’ve been welcoming us with open arms. We’re looking to open in 2-3 new markets by the end of this year.
4.) Why do you love it?
I love knowing that we are helping other people succeed. Most people start a business with the goal of becoming successful. We started Culintro to become successful too, but with the mission to provide resources and tools to make our peers successful as well.
5.) What’s one piece of advice you have for anyone thinking of taking the leap?
Make sure you find a business partner where there is mutual respect. I could never run this company without Stephanie. We came together as business partners then became great friends, but always honor our business relationship. If you’re taking the entrepreneurial leap, it’s always easier, safer, and stronger to make the leap with another person.
-Contributed by Alina Munoz. Learn more about Culintro.
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